Car was purchased for $200, ex country, where it had sat in storage for six months, and only driven for 20km a day for the four years before then. Since then, it went onto excess of 20,000km a year driving, so has had a fair few problems crop up.
The entire cooling system was replaced, thermostat, radiator (again when the replacement also was no good). Radiators failing is a common failure, welch plugs. All this and the problem below can be put down to use of tank water with no corrosion inhibitor.
Timing case fractured 250km from home, and 50km from the nearest town. The car was limped into the town, and towtrucked from there. This also caused the alternator to fail, from the bath. The head was lifted to check for damage, but amazingly there was none.
Rear axle bearing failed.
Handbrake is best described as a joke. The car has rolled away a few times until I started leaving it in gear.
Automatic transmission failed into first, 4th and reverse. The car was converted to a 5-speed manual, and has never looked back. :)
Car has a few random electrical faults, from a previous owner's attempt at installing an alarm. I think it involved a fire axe somewhere
Car recently had new suspension bushes, springs and dampeners fitted. They do wear out, and improve the handling no end.
The car was picked up cheap, as a fun runabout project to help me when I was off work for a long time ill. It did that task well.
The Astron motor does pick up some modifications with power well. My car's engine mods are, roller rockers with hydraulic lifters, very mild port and polish on the head, a balance shaft elimination kit, heavy duty clutch, high flowing catback exhaust (probably 2¼", maybe 2½" is what I'll recommend to others. I'm running 2.25, it's a bit small).
Important points for anyone buying:
* CHOOSE YOUR CAR WELL!! *
* Don't neglect oil changes *, and check other fluids. These cars are coming up to 25, and the youngest are nearly 20. They are not new cars.
The ECI Multi manual cars are probably the pick of the bunch. After that, it's a coin toss for an injected auto, or carb'd manual. I wouldn't touch a carby auto with a stick.
Fuel economy depends on the driver. I always return between 9.5-14.0l/100km (between 16-24MPG), depending on how heavy the brick is on the throttle. Average is 10.8l/100 (22MPG)
Anything involved in the suspension is probably due for replacement no matter what. It is worth doing so, though.
Watch for rust. There's no specific spots it starts. Doors are common. So is roof, same as the guards, and rear quarter panels. Pretty much the entire car could be hiding rust.
Cave walls have better paint than the metallics. Same as any car from the era, really.
Buy a decent set of tyres, and check the condition of the brakes. That could easily save your life.